|Site Map | Search Warsailors.com |Merchant Fleet Main Page | Warsailors.com Home|
Owner: Skibs-A/S Tankexpress
Built by Götaverken A/B, Gothenburg in 1937. Previous name: Petrofina until 1939.
Captain: Anders Skånberg.
In Admiralty service from 1940 (Royal Fleet Auxiliary).
Please compare the above voyages with Arnold Hague's Voyage Record below.
(Received from Don Kindell - His source: The late Arnold Hague's database).
Follow the convoy links provided for more information on each.
As will be seen when going to Page 1 of the archive documents, Tankexpress arrived Buenos Aires on Apr. 9-1940, the day of the German invasion of Norway, continuing to Rosario 2 days later. It'll also be noticed that she had quite a long stay in Callao later that year. Her 1941 voyages also start on this document and continue on Page 2, which shows another long stay in New York that fall, before proceeding to Aruba. From there she sailed to Halifax, where she arrived Oct. 23 and according to Arnold Hague, she subsequently joined Convoy HX 157, which left Halifax on Oct. 28 and arrived Liverpool Nov. 13; Tankexpress stopped at Belfast Lough Nov. 12, later arriving Avonmouth Nov. 19. This convoy is not yet available among the HX convoys included in my own Convoys section, but will be added; see ships in all HX convoys. Dagfred, Egda and Fernmoor are also listed. Tankexpress had a cargo of dieso and sailed in station 74 of the convoy. With Eidanger, Glittre, Kaldfonn, Kollbjørg, Norefjord, Nueva Granada, Olaf Bergh, Slemdal and Thorshov, she returned across the Atlantic the following month in Convoy ON 42*, which originated in Liverpool on Dec. 1 and dispersed on the 14th, Tankexpress arriving Houston on Dec. 26 (she had started out from Milford Haven on Nov. 30).
On Jan. 8-1942, she's listed among the ships in Convoy HX 169 from Halifax. She arrived Swansea, via Belfast Lough, on Jan. 26, later joining the westbound Convoy ON 65*, departing Liverpool on Febr. 8. Arthur W. Sewall, Bralanta, Cetus, Egda, G. C. Brøvig, Hardanger, Kaldfonn, Kollbjørg, Mirlo, N. T. Nielsen Alonso, Nueva Granada, Stiklestad, Troubadour and Vav are also named. This time, she was bound for Aruba, where she arrived March 1, the convoy having been dispersed Febr. 19. A couple of days later she continued to Halifax, with arrival March 13; according to A. Hague, she arrived with defects. She did not leave Halifax again until Apr. 26, when she joined Convoy HX 187, and arrived Swansea, again via Belfast Lough, on May 11 (remaining there for almost 3 weeks).
The following month we find her, together with Leiv Eiriksson, Orwell and San Andres, in Convoy OS 30, departing Liverpool on June 1, arriving Freetown June 19 (ref. link in Voyage Record). However, going back to Page 2, we learn that Tankexpress arrived Trinidad on June 20, having started out from Milford Haven on May 31; A. Hague says she had been detached from the convoy on June 9. She left Trinidad again 2 days later and arrived Curacao June 24. For this voyage, A. Hague has included her in Convoy TO 9 - again, ref. external link provided in the table above (the Norwegian Arthur W. Sewall, James Hawson and Notos are also listed). From Curacao, she headed to Freetown on July 1, joining Convoy OT 13, together with Havprins, Orwell and Sørvangen. This convoy was dispersed July 4, Tankexpress arriving Freetown on July 15.
As mentioned above, Tankexpress had arrived Freetown on July 15-1942. She left Freetown again on July 22 in ballast for Trinidad (for orders). According to a report presented at the subsequent hearings, signed by the captain, the 1st and 2nd mates, Ordinary Seaman Sivle and Able Seaman Hansen, she was in a convoy* until the 24th, at which time she continued alone as per Admiralty instructions. The following day, at 13:05 ship's time on July 25, when south of the Cape Verde Islands she was hit by a torpedo from U-130 (Kals). A log written by the 1st mate (which is included in A. H. Rasmussen's book "Tilbake til havet") gives the position as 10 05N 26 31W. The torpedo struck on the starboard side in the after part of No. 4 wing tank, blowing away the boatdeck on that side, destroying the lifeboat and blowing the raft overboard. The iron stanchions of the starboard flying bridge were bent inwards, so that the flying bridge fell down. She listed heavily to starboard, but the engine was not stopped and her crew stayed on board, though the captain soon realized they'd be unable to escape because her speed was drastically reduced. The 1st mate repeated an SOS call four times at intervals on the W/T before the ship was abandoned, but no acknowledgment was received.
The captain had ordered the crew to the lifeboats, which had gotten about 100 yards away from the ship when another torpedo hit, this time in the engine room on the port side, but as she still didn't sink the U-boat came up to shell her (according to Uboat.net, 87 rounds were fired). From the boats the crew could see that Tankexpress turned over on her side within an hour, until she turned her bottom up and was about to go down when they set sail for the coast (she sank about 2-3 hours after having been abandoned, position as given above, 750 n. miles from Freetown).
The midships motorboat and the 2 aft lifeboats had been launched; the captain, the 1st mate and 8 men in the motorboat, the 2nd mate in charge of another boat and the 1st engineer of the 3rd boat. Provisions were taken from the raft that had been thrown overboard in the explosion, and a heavy rain shower that evening enabled them to top up the water tanks. The 2 aft boats had been taken in tow by the motorboat with course for Freetown, continuing to tow until July 26*, then sails were set on all 3 boats, still tied together. After having sailed about 500 n. miles they were picked up about 250 n. miles from Freetown at 21:30 GMT on Aug. 1 by the British destroyer HMS Lightning and landed at Gibraltar on Aug. 9 (according to this external page, 3 officers and 16 men from Tankexpress had been transferred to HMS Phoebe on Aug. 2). They were accommodated in a British depot ship until the Norwegian Consul took charge of them on the 11th and provided the necessary clothing and accommodation.
The maritime hearings were held in Gibraltar on Aug. 19. The following appeared: Captain Skånberg, 1st Mate Alf Riiber Christensen, who had been on board since July-1939, first as 3rd mate until July-1941, then as 1st mate, 2nd Mate Ingolf Remø who had served as 3rd mate from Nov.-1941, then 2nd mate from Apr.-1942, Ordinary Seaman Hjalmar Sivle who had been on board since Apr.-1942. He was on lookout duty on top of the chartroom when the torpedo hit. Able Seaman Thorleif Hansen, who had served as saloon boy from March-1939, and as able seaman from about Oct.-1941 was also questioned at the hearings. When the attack occurred he was at the helm.
A month and a half after arrival Gibraltar they got passage on a troop transport to the U.K. where they joined other ships.
For info, U-130 was also responsible for the attacks on Frisco, Alexandra Høegh, Varanger, Grenanger, Malmanger and Mirlo - follow the links for more details. The U-boat was sunk with all hands the following spring (ref. link at the end of this page).
Crew List - No Casualties:
Norwegian, unless otherwise noted.
*Ingolf Remø might be idential to the Ingolf Remø who had escaped from Norway with M/K Kvalsund in Oct.-1941(?).
**This external page gives the name as Hans Hansen Rød and also lists his other ships.
***Thorleif Hansen later experienced the sinking of Hallanger.
Captain Skånberg later joined Herbrand, Alf Riiber Christensen joined M/T Minister Wedel (and was torpedoed again), then John Bakke and Bergensfjord.
Back to Tankexpress on the "Ships starting with T" page.
The text on this page was compiled with the help of: "Nortraships flåte", J. R. Hegland, "Sjøforklaringer fra 2. verdenskrig", Norwegian Maritime Museum, Volume II and misc. (ref. My sources).